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Calendar of Events


ACGCC Presents:
“Contact: The Sovereign Body and Realized Zones of Community”
Conference Date: April 23rd, 2016 at UC Santa Barbara

“Experiencing Decolonial Aesthetics: Perception, Cognition, Empathy” Lecture: Tuesday, November 17th, 3:30 PM at SH 2635


Antiracism Inc.: Intersections

We are very enthusiastic about the direction of our program for the coming 2014-15 academic year. The Antiracism Inc. program series will feature the subheading “Intersections.” Our goal is to engage students, scholars, and activists in a discussion that develops our understanding about racism and sexism in the present. How do ‘colorblindness’ and ‘gender-blindness’ work together, for example? How do we develop language, images, and imaginaries that create radical possibilities as we expose racial and gendered power? We hope to maintain critical attention to questions of gender and sexuality as we build our analyses of the incorporation of antiracist discourses.

Spring Quarter 2015

Antiracism Inc./Works/Intersections/Transformations

We are excited to have your participation at the final event for this round of the Antiracism Inc. program series, where we will come together in a space of solidarity, creativity, collaboration, and community building to reflect on the ongoing strife in Baltimore, which speaks to a long history of race-based state violence in the United States that has not disappeared despite official antiracist discourses to the contrary. We hope to consider how the conversations that have taken place throughout the Antiracism Inc. program about racism, antiracism, activism, institutional power, violence, and the intersections among race, gender, and sexuality may come together to help us heal and build coalitions of solidarity.

The event will take place on Thursday, May 14, 2015 from 12-2 p.m. in the MultiCultural Center Lounge on the UCSB campus. Please see below for a flyer with more details about the event.

In preparation, please read the following short works:

1) Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

2) Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors-Brignac's "Celebrating MLK Day: Reclaiming Our Movement Legacy"

Winter Quarter 2015

Antiracism Inc: Intersections: Critical Conversations

How do we negotiate the relationship between the dominant demand for 'colorblindness' regrading race and the demand for 'hypervisibility' regarding gender and sexuality? "Critical Conversations" will address the intersections of those subjects, practices, and positionalities that defy incorporation. Please join us in this dialogue about race and sexuality in a series of lively discussions on Thursday March 12, 2015 from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm in the MultiCultural Center Lounge.

Fall Quarter 2014

Antisexism U.: An Encounter with Dr. Nick Mitchell

Please join us for the first event of the year, Antisexism U. Dr. Nick Mitchell (Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside) will lead us in a discussion of the institutional histories of Women’s Studies and Black Studies.

In preparation, please read Wendy Brown's "The Impossibility of Women's Studies" and Dr. Mitchell’s “A Riff on the Concept of the (Critical Ethnic Studies) Intellectual”.

The event will take place on Thursday October 30, 2014 in South Hall 2635 from 2:00-4:00 pm. Afternoon tea and cookies will be provided.

Please email Professor Felice Blake at or Roberta Wolfson at for PDF copies of these readings.


Welcome back! We are very enthusiastic about the direction of our program for the coming academic year. The Antiracism Inc. program series will feature the subheading “Antiracism Works.” We seek to extend the critical frames for addressing issues central to Antiracism Inc. by collaborating with community organizations. We seek to bridge intellectual work with community connection and engagement. Rather than hoarding intellectual goods, products, and services within the institution, we seek to build foundations for collective knowledge production across institutional divides. What frameworks and concepts do we need to critically and practically engage with ongoing movements for justice? What lines of flight, poetics of struggle, and radical imaginaries become possible through alternative modes for circulating and producing knowledge? While never minimizing the importance of examining the operation of institutional power, our questions look to the ways that power operates on the ground (broadly conceived) in the everyday. The program thus offers opportunities for engaging students, faculty, and community members, giving us coalitional work to do.

Also, thanks again to y'all who attended "Poetic Interventions" last spring, and we hope to have more folks at its next installment in February 2014. If you missed it, watch a video summary made by filmmaker Emanuel Garcia here.

Follow us on Twitter @acgcc

Live tweet events using the hashtag #AntiracismWorks

We would also like to thank the UC Humanities Research Institute for its support of our program this year!

Spring Quarter 2014

The American Cultures and Global Contexts Center is proud to present Antiracism Inc./Works: The Anticonference. Please join us on Friday and Saturday May 16-17 at the UCSB MultiCultural Center Lounge for the academic, artistic, and activist encounter that is sure to reinvigorate our analysis of and commitments to social justice. Our anticonference will involve the voices of faculty, organizers, students, and poets from across the country. Our conversation centers on the reading and redefinition of antiracism in the Age of Obama. We hope you'll join us to participate in generative dialogues with folks who've been part of the program since its inception, spanning the ACGCC reading and film series to Poetic Interventions last spring to the prison abolition work of the Coalition for Sustainable Communities.

Everyone is welcome - no registration required! You may stop by for any or all of the events. Please see more info and a full conference schedule below, and you may join the event on Facebook:

Winter Quarter 2014

Please join us for the second iteration of "Activist Encounters," which extends our conversation from Fall 2013 with the Shawn Greenwood Working Group and incredible undergraduate student activists. We are hosting a dialogue on stopping prison expansion in Santa Barbara County. We are delighted that Diana Zuñiga, Statewide Organizer from Citizens United For a Responsible Budget (CURB), will be joining us for the conversation. CURB is a statewide alliance of over 50 organizations working to curb prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in California. “Activist Encounters II” will offer both a critique of the structural conditions of mass incarceration and concrete strategies for stopping prison expansion. This will be our first organizing meeting to plan future community mobilizations around this pressing issue. As always, the event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided. Some more details are provided on the below flyer:

We at the ACGCC are excited to introduce our latest project: a drop-in writing lab for junior high and high school students, their families, SBCC students, and the greater Santa Barbara community! Please contact the Graduate Fellow, Alison, for more information or to get involved.

Fall Quarter 2013

Please join us for this incredible event at the UCSB MultiCultural Center:


On October 17, 2013, we will hold two related events: 1) a lunchtime meeting featuring a discussion with the Shawn Greenwood Working Group and 2) an afternoon forum about incarceration, drones, and detention with the SGWG, student activists, and academics. Both events are free and open to the public.

Event: Engaged Activism/Activist Encounters

Location: SH 2635

Date: Thursday October 17, 2013

Time: 12:30-1:45pm, 3-5pm

12:30-1:45pm – Talk by the Shawn Greenwood Working Group. More info and their Statement of Purpose can be found here.

3:00-5:00pm – Roundtable Discussion on activist responses to police murder, global security, drones, immigration, detention, occupation, incarceration, and other forms of state violence. We intend to foster dialogue and raise questions across racialized, gendered, and disciplinary divides with a common critique of the state to develop new frames for activism and coalition.

Join the Facebook Event here!


Wecome back to the ACGCC! The goal of the 2012-13 program, Antiracism Inc., is to consider the need to rethink the meaning of antiracism in light of contemporary shifts in global political discourses on race and racism.  Current rhetoric on race purports to embrace principles of racial equality, anti-discrimination and multiculturalism; yet old and new forms of racial violence, exploitation and discrimination persist. 

If publics are complicit in systemic forms of racism but believe themselves to be anti-racists, how do we re-imagine the meaning of antiracism?  The ACGCC program will seek to map the ways these paradoxes manifest in the situated discourses and practices in various geopolitical spaces.  We seek to engage with the transnational mediated complexities of contemporary race practice, and explore the opportunities these provide for rethinking antiracism in the twenty-first century.


Spring Quarter 2013

The ACGCC is excited to announce a special event of the program series Antiracism Inc., which contributes to broadening new political imaginative propositions for justice by giving us all something to think about and work to do. “Poetic Interventions” is a daylong poetry workshop open to all on Saturday May 11th, 2013 that seeks to engage the imagination, our collectivity, and unique perspectives to create new language and images that address the problems and possibilities our current racial landscape presents. 

Please join us! Lunch will be provided, and all are welcome.


Winter Quarter 2013

Our winter quarter program for Antiracism Inc. features a film series. Each screening will be followed by a conversation led by a distinguished scholar whose expertise will lend additional insight to our ongoing dialogue.

The Hemispheric South/s Research Initiative and the American Cultures & Global Contexts Center have collaboratively organized a mini-conference on Friday, March 8, 2013 from 1-4pm in SH 1415:

Duplicitous Inclusions: Race and Subject of Nation
In performance, lived blackness as a subaltern location of national identity reveals and resists state and social processes of contradictory exclusion and hyper-visibility. It becomes a particular site for confronting incursions of insidious and overt marginalizations. In the research presented at Duplicitous Inclusions: Race and Subject of Nation, creative artists forge feeling and consciousness around racial exclusions that inconvenience and confound the national self-image in South Africa and the United States. The keynote addresses explore the terms of confronting racism in the face of the fantasy that it no longer exists. These scholars examine race and representation in the development of a seemingly new landscape of racial meaning and national knowledge.

This exciting event will feature two visiting scholars: Dr. Brandi Wilkins Catanese, Associate Professor of African American Studies & Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Xavier Livermon, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Wayne State University. Through cross-disciplinary dialogue, we hope to engage questions central to the missions of both the ACGCC's Antiracism Inc. program and the Hemispheric South/s Research Initiative's focus on Race and Affect.

Please also join us for a follow-up discussion to our Fall Reading Series open to students, faculty, and community members. This special event on "Race & the Field of Literature" will be led by Dr. Felice Blake on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 from 12:30-1:45pm in the SRB Multipurpose Rm. Lunch will be provided.

Fall Quarter 2012

End of Quarter Open House and Reception

On behalf of Dr. Felice Blake I'm excited to invite you to an Open House and Reception this Friday to celebrate a wonderful quarter at the American Cultures & Global Contexts Center. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Fall Reading Series of our 2012-2013 program, Antiracism Inc., for coming together to think through the meanings of antiracism in light of contemporary shifts in global political discourses on race and racism, and for collectively generating possibilities for justice. In case you weren't able to make the reading series or would like to learn more - you're just in luck! Amanda Phillips, an ACGCC affiliated graduate student, recently wrote a blog post about the program featured on HASTAC and the UC Humanities Forum, which you can read here:

So that we may show our appreciation and keep the conversations flowing, please do stop by the American Cultures & Global Contexts Center on Friday December 7th, from 4-6pm (South Hall 2710) for our Open House and Reception. Newcomers are also welcome - we have a lot to look forward to this winter quarter, which will feature a film series (as well as a fall reading series followup discussion led by Dr. Felice Blake) about which you can learn more during the event. Refreshments will be provided.

Hope to see you there!

Fall Reading Series

The Antiracism Inc. program for the 2012-2013 year will include a Fall quarter 2012 reading series open to undergraduate and graduate students, community members, staff, and faculty. For PDFs of the suggested readings please email the Graduate Student Fellow, Alison Reed (at

Spring Quarter 2012

Join us this spring for continued discussions on risk, uncertainty, and security at the Critical Issues in American program on "Speculative Futures." Upcoming events feature symposia on cybersecurity and speculative media, along with a graduate conference on contagion/control. Be sure to check back frequently for event updates!

*Risk Series*

Symposium III: Cybersecurity

Brian Krebs ( "The eMob"

Prof. Giovanni Vigna (UCSB)

Prof. Richard A. Kemmerer (UCSB)

Brett Stone-Gross (Dell SecureWorks)

April 16, 2012, Broida Hall 1640, 4-6 p.m.





*Risk Series*

Lecture: Kathleen Woodward (University of Washington) "Balancing Acts and National Security: Risk, Embodiment, Affect"

April 20, 2012, McCune Conference Room, HSSB, 6th floor, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

*Risk Series*

Graduate Colloquium: Contagion/Control

Keynote Speaker, Prof. Priscilla Wald (Duke University): “Viral Visions: Disease Emergence and the Obscured Geography of Poverty” 4:00 p.m.

May 10, Wallis Annenberg Conference Room, SSMS 4315, 1:00 p.m.

May 11, McCune Conference Room, HSSB 6020, 9:00 a.m.

Click here for further information and for the program schedule.

*Risk Series*

Symposium IV: Speculative Media

Prof. Helen Nissenbaum (New York University): "Obfuscation: Sacrilege in the Data–Driven Society"

Prof. Thomas Streeter (University of Vermont): "The Net Effect, or Why, Really, Do We Love Steve Jobs?"

May 11, McCune Conference Room, HSSB 6020, 2:00-5:00 p.m.


Winter Quarter 2012

The "Risk Society Series" is in full swing this quarter and features several exciting events, many related to the Critical Issues of America program on “Speculative Futures.” This quarter's events will culminate in the Santa Barbara Global Studies conference, which bring dynamic junior scholars together with established senior scholars in various fields around the issue of "Crisis." Please check back for event information as they will be updated throughout the quarter!


*Risk Series*

Symposium II: Security and Catastrophe

Prof. Peter van Wyck, (Concordia University) "An Archive of Threat"

Prof. Andrew Lakoff, (USC) "Biopolitics in Real Time: The Actuary and the Sentinel in Global Health"

Jan. 13, 2012, McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB, 2–6 pm


*Risk Series*

Talk: Chris Mooney, "The Republican Brain on Science: Understanding Conservatives' Denial of Research Based Reality"

Loma Pelona Conference Center, 7–8:30 pm

ACGCC co-sponsored event
Last Chance for Humanity, Part II: Militarized Biological Speculation and Security.

Feb. 17, 2012, 11a.m., SH 2635

In the second event for this film and discussion series, we will be looking at the Dark Winter exercises, and using them to frame a screening and discussion of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. We will also be looking at an excerpt of Priscilla Wald's Contagious (please contact the ACGC Fellow for copies).

This public health and security engagement is co-sponsored by the Transcriptions Center and COMMA.

ACGCC co-sponsored event
Caribbean Crossroads Conference

Feb. 21-22, 2012, McCune Conference Center

This conference explores the interactions and points of contact between the different cultural and linguistic zones that make up the Caribbean region, in support of a less insular, more archipelagic sense of Caribbean culture.

sbgsc*Risk Series*
SB Global Studies Conference, "Crisis"

Feb. 24-25, 2012, UCen

The University of California, Santa Barbara is holding an interdisciplinary global studies conference on a wide range of topics for scholars, both established and in the graduate stage, from the West Coast and beyond, under the general theme of crisis as salient feature of current global conditions. Crisis may thus be understood at every level, from the economic and financial to the environmental to problems of legitimacy and human security, to name a few. 

Keynote speaker: Saskia Sassen (Columbia University)

Presenters will also include: Craig Calhoun, Manfried Steger, Roland Robertson, Chris Charles-Dunn, Richard Falk, and many others

Fall Quarter 2011

Welcome back!

Text Box: 	    	RISK SOCIETY SERIES SESERIESThe focal theme of the ACGCC “Risk Society Series” this year is “uncertainty.” Classically uncertainty, the pathologized other of calculable risk, is precisely the terrifying face of a dynamic, unpredictable system of emergences. As a “condition,” it gains prominence at moments of crisis, amid spectacular financial crashes, environmental debacles, biological insecurity, and insurgent attacks; its social and psychological effects range from terror to precarity. More recently, risk theorists have argued uncertainty arises from a dynamic but constantly generative system whose potentialities are foreclosed by the risk calculus. Given the ensuing debate, perhaps it is time to revisit the risk-uncertainty dialectic.

The ACGCC participates a campus-wide dialogue on risk-uncertainty. The center will cosponsor several events hosted by the Critical Issues of America program on “Speculative Futures.” The calendar below includes these events (marked as “Risk Series”) as well as other fall quarter talks, lectures, discussions, and films relevant to the focal theme.

For updated information on ACGCC and related events, make sure to bookmark the ACGCC calendar.


ACGCC co-sponsors an East Asia Center Event

Prof. Pheng Cheah (UC Berkeley) Lecture: "Entering the World from an Oblique Angle: On Jia Zhangke as an Organic Intellectual"

Thursday, Oct. 6th at 6pm, 2252 HSSB

*Risk Series*
UCSB Arts & Lectures Hosts

Daniel Yergin (author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power) Lecture: "The Quest--Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World"

Wednesday, Oct. 12th, 8pm, Campbell Hall (free)
For details: UCSB Arts & Lectures

*Risk Series*
Critical Issues in America presents
A Symposium on Historical Perspectives


Prof. Wolf Kitler (UC Santa Barbara), "The Origin of Risk"

Prof. Colin Milburn (UC Davis), "Postmorten: The Necrosis of Nanotechnology"

Friday, Oct. 14 from 2-6pm, Wallis Annenburg Conference Room
For details:








*Risk Series*
ACGCC co-sponsors Critical Issues in America and UCSB Arts & Lectures

Screening: Michael Madsen's Into Eternity (2010)
Followed by Q&A with the director

Monday, Oct. 17th, 7:30pm, Campbell Hall ($6/free for students)
For details:, UCSB Arts & Lectures


*Risk Series*
Critical Issues in America hosts

A conversation with Michael Madsen

Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 5-7pm, McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB
For details:

*Risk Series*
UCSB Arts & Lectures hosts

Siddhartha Mukherkjee (Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Emperor of Maladies: A Biography of Cancer) Lecture: "Where We Are on the War on Cancer"

Saturday, Oct. 22nd, 3pm, Campbell Hall ($20/$10 UCSB Students)
For details: UCSB Arts & Lectures

*Risk Series*
Literatures and Mind presents
Colloquium on Care and Vulnerability

Fabienne Brugère, "What is an ethics of care?"
Guillaume Le Blanc, "Why are we so vulnerable?"

Friday, Oct. 28th, 1-5pm, South Hall 2635
For details:

*Risk Series*
ACGCC co-sponsors a Literature and Environment event

Prof. Rob Nixon (UWisconsin, Madison), "Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor."

Friday, Nov. 18th, 2pm, McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB


Spring Quarter 2011

CCS Literature Symposium co-sponsored by the ACGCC

"Digital Publishing, Creative Possibilities"

Wednesday, May 25th at 4pm, Old Little Theater

As a founding member of the editorial team of the Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS), Martinsen will discuss how this online journal was formed and provide a glimpse behind the scenes to see how JTAS functions as an open-access forum for Americanists in the global academic community.  In addition, this talk will explore some of the creative possibilities and resources for digital publishing, particularly for groups of students and scholars on a limited budget.

Eric Martinsen is assistant professor of English at Ventura College.  In 2010, he completed his doctorate on "Global Moments: Spectatorship, Violence and Urbanization in Contemporary Fiction and Film” at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Please join us in this talk by a former ACGCC Fellow and UCSB alum!

Undergraduate Panel

"Special Topics in Research: American Literature, Global Literature and the ACGCC."

Thursday, May 12th, from 2-3pm in the ACGC Center

Yanoula Athanassakis, Anne Cong-Huyen, Ryan Stodtmeister, and Sharon Tang Quan will be present to talk about their work, to hear about yours, and to answer your questions about what's new, hot, and exciting in the fields of American and Global literatures; we'll all also look forward to hearing about your research interests and your thoughts about the field.  Food and beverages provided.



Friday, March 4 (10 am - 5:30 pm)**Mosher Alumni House - Alumni Hall




The conference analyzes how speculation shapes global connections and futures as it negotiates uncertainty. The speakers address how risk media domesticates dynamic, unpredictable emergences--accidents, biohazards, piracy, terrorism--in the name of control and profit.  They also explore critical, creative speculative approaches promoting common, more habitable worlds.

For more information click here.


Fall Quarter 2010

Scroll down to view the next upcoming ACGCC event!
Announcing: Risk Society Series, "Globalizing Risk" 2010-2011
A research project sponsored by Transcriptions and ACGCC


UCSB Faculty Series: Lecture by Barbara Harthorn, Center for Nanonotechnology Society: Title TBA (October 22,12:00-2:00, SH 2635)

Public Event: Lecture by Joyce Goggin, University of Amsterdam. “My Future's so Bright, I'm already Dead" (October 25, 3:30, SH 2635)
Reading Meet: Ulrich Beck, Risk Society (1986) with excerpt from Joseph Stiglitz’ Free Fall (2008) (November 5, 12:00-2:00, SH2635)
Reading Meet: Excerpts from Kirsten Ostherr, Andrew Lakoff and Joost van Loon (November 19, 12:00pm, SH 2635)

Winter 2011 forthcoming

Graduate Colloquium: Working Papers in the Risk Society Series (full drafts of papers to be submitted by invitation for planned web project, “Speculative Globalities”)

Public Event: “Speculative Globalities” conference, March 3-5, 2011 (Centennial House): capstone event on accident media

Spring 2011 (planning stages)

Graduate Colloquium with capstone lecture

Collective reading hour of excerpts from:
Kirsten Ostherr, Andrew Lakoff and Joost van Loon
12:00pm, Friday November 19 -- South Hall 2635

The two centers in the English Department, Transcriptions and the ACGCC (American Cultures and Global Contexts) invite you to join us in taking a close look at the two forms of risk discourse central to Ulrick Beck: scienticized and commercial risk. Even as we are habituated to risk through various media forms—from our local or cable access news to health insurance ads—there is curiously little attention to risk society media and its information networks and infrastructures. This event continues the conversation on the discourse of risk society; our focus will primarily involve the media forms, technologies, infrastructures, and institutions that globalize and mediatize risk.

- Joost van Loon, "Virtual Risks in an Age of Cybernetic Reproduction," from The Risk Society and Beyond, Eds. Barbara Adam, Ulrich Beck and Joost van Loon

- Kirsten Ostherr, Ch. 2: "Noninfected but Infectible," and "Conclusion" from her book Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health

- Andrew Lakoff, "From Population to Vital System," from Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question (Columbia UP 2008), Eds. Andrew Lakoff and Stephen J Collie

*For copies of the readings please contact Yanoula at:

Ambivalence, Uncertainty & Risk: Public Engagement with New [Nano]Technologies
a talk by Barbara Herr Harthorn

12:00pm, Friday October 22 -- South Hall 2635


New technologies simultaneously evoke pro-technology sentiments and deep reservations about realizing benefits. Harthorn explores the perceptual and cultural bases for such nano-techno-ambivalence, perceived constraints on promised benefits and the narratives through which progress and its impediments are enacted. The work is based on a series of deliberative engagement workshops held in the United States in 2009 as part of research in the Center for Nanotechnology in Society, and contextualizes these ambivalent views in culture and risk, structured uncertainty, and other conundrums of contemporary new technology Research & Development and citizen engagement.

Please join us for the first event in the Globalizing Risk UCSB Faculty Lecture Series (sponsored by Transcriptions and ACGCC). We are pleased to announce our first speaker, Barbara Herr Harthorn, Principal Investigator and Director of the CNS (Center for Nanotechnology in Society) and Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology at UCSB. If you would like three short readings Professor Harthon offered in prepartion for her talk please e-mail:

"Wearing Shades: Credit, Futurity and the 'Art' of Gunther von Hagens"

a talk by Joyce Goggin, University of Amsterdam

3:30pm, Monday October 25 -- South Hall 2635


Please join us for the second event in our Globalizing Risk Lecture Series as we welcome Joyce Goggin, the Acting Chair of English Literature at the University of Amsterdam, where she also teaches film and new media. She has published numerous articles on literature, painting, film and new media, as well as gambling, addiction and finance. Her most recent work is a co-edited volume entitled The Rise and Reason of Comics and Graphic Literature: Critical Essays on the Genre.

This talk will discuss the financial revolution that began in the late 17th century, the rise of modern banking, and the invention of credit. In particular, this paper will address the persistent orientation to the future inherent to credit-based economies, as well as how this orientation expresses itself in a number of creative and artistic forms not immediately associated with the world of finance.

"Aldo Leopold's Continuing Legacy: A Land Ethic for Turkey"?
a talk by Ufuk Özdağ, Hacettepe University
11am, Wednesday, October 13th -- South Hall 2635

You are cordially invited to a talk by visiting scholar Ufuk Özdağ, Associate Professor of American Culture & Literature, Hacettepe University (Ankara, Turkey). Professor Özdağ's talk, "Aldo Leopold’s Continuing Legacy: A Land Ethic for Turkey?" will center on the drained wetlands of Turkey and the ways in which a “land ethic” could be fostered through Leopold’s essays in A Sand Country Almanac.

Ufuk Özdağ is Associate Professor of American culture and literature at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. She received her Ph.D. in American culture and literature from the same university. Özdağ specializes in 20th century American fiction, American nature writing, environmental literature, and in the intersections between literature and visual arts. Özdağ's book, Edebiyat ve Toprak Etigi: Amerikan Doga Yazininda Leopold'cu Dusunce (Literature and the Land Ethic: Leopoldian Thought in American Nature Writing) was published by Urun Yayinlari in 2005. Özdağ has been a lecturer in the TUBITAK-coordinated outdoor ecology-based environmental training programs in Amanoslar, Antakya, Turkey, since 2008, incorporating environmental literature to the lectures on environmental sciences. Özdağ is currently on sabbatical at the University of Nevada, Reno, doing research on the theory and practice of place-based education.

Ufuk Özdağ is Associate Professor of American culture and literature at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. She received her Ph.D. in American culture and literature from the same university. Özdağ specializes in 20th century American fiction, American nature writing, environmental literature, and in the intersections between literature and visual arts. Özdağ's book, Edebiyat ve Toprak Etigi: Amerikan Doga Yazininda Leopold'cu Dusunce (Literature and the Land Ethic: Leopoldian Thought in American Nature Writing) was published by Urun Yayinlari in 2005. Özdağ has been a lecturer in the TUBITAK-coordinated outdoor ecology-based environmental training programs in Amanoslar, Antakya, Turkey, since 2008, incorporating environmental literature to the lectures on environmental sciences. Özdağ is currently on sabbatical at the University of Nevada, Reno, doing research on the theory and practice of place-based education.

**Please e-mail Yanoula at if you plan on attending as we'll be providing a light lunch and would like to know how much to prepare.**

This event is cosponsored by Literature & the Environment and the American Cultures & Global Contexts Center.

Spring Quarter 2010
READING: Karen Tei Yamashita
Monday, May 24, 2010 1:30 p.m.
Old Little Theater


Many of us have taught, read, or written on Karen Tei Yamashita's beautiful and complex books, which include Through the Arc of the RainforestBrazil-Maru, and Tropic of Orange. In fact, some of you may have seen her read from a work in progress during the ACGCC's 2006 Symposium on Asian American Studies.  That work is now a brilliant new book called I Hotel, a series of ten novellas set in the late Sixties. The book's description reads:

"Dazzling and ambitious, this hip, multi-voiced fusion of prose, playwriting, graphic art, and philosophy spins an epic tale of America’s struggle for civil rights as it played out in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Divided into ten novellas, one for each year, I Hotel begins in 1968, when Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, students took to the streets, the Vietnam War raged, and cities burned. As Karen Yamashita’s motley cast of students, laborers, artists, revolutionaries, and provocateurs make their way through the history of the day, they become caught in a riptide of politics and passion, clashing ideologies and personal turmoil. And by the time the survivors unite to save the International Hotel—epicenter of the Yellow Power Movement—their stories have come to define the very heart of the American experience."

Come join us as Yamashita (who the Los Angeles Times has called "a visionary") reads from her new book. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and releases May 1st, so you may have a chance to dip into it before the event.

Special thanks to Nhu Le, PhD candidate in English, who was instrumental in arranging this event. Co-sponsors include Asian American Studies, the College of Creative Studies, the Consortium for Literature, Theory, and Culture, and the MultiCultural Center.
Research Slam

EVENT: Friday, May 21, 2010 1-5:30 p.m.
South Hall (various locations)

Call for Participation

Literature.Culture.Media Center Research Slam*
Where the Poster Session Meets the Poetry Slam!

Down from the lectern and into the crowd!

Please send project description, technical requirements (if any), and a short biography by April 17 to

Have you done recent work that you're particularly proud of? Are you working on a project and would like to get feedback from your peers and faculty? Interested in seeing the diversity of scholarship occurring on campus? UCSB’s Literature.Culture.Media Center is devoted to investigating and highlighting innovative ways of combining traditional humanities research with concepts and methodologies related to information media and technology. In this tradition, we are hosting the third annual Research Slam to showcase the unique work done by scholars across campus.

The goal of the Research Slam is to combine the best features of traditional academic humanities venues like lectures and roundtables and combine them with the free-flowing, hyperattentive and participatory focus of the poster session and poetry slam. The format includes a series of parallel presentations, followed by a plenary discussion at the end of the afternoon. Glow necklaces will be provided!

glow necklaces

A Research Slam is:
• Non-linear intellectual encounters
• Smaller, more personalized discussions, followed by a large group session
• Multi-media, multi-modal, and/or multi-temporal
• Inclusive of faculty and students
• Performative, interactive, playful
• Interested in new paradigms of sharing scholarly work

A Research Slam is not:
• Divided and structured hierarchically
• Quiet or stationary
• Lecture-based
• Traditional or conventional
• Boring

The Literature.Culture.Media Center is now soliciting multimedia projects, research posters, and other creative or scholarly works taking advantage of the intersections between academics, information and technology to showcase at the Slam, regardless of department, class level, or period of focus of the contributor. We invite faculty, graduate students, or undergraduates to apply! If you think your project fits the structure of the event, we'd love to have you!

Potential Critical Nodes

  • archives
  • history
  • reading/audience practices
  • educational technology
  • media arts
  • popular culture
  • activism
  • GIS/mapping/locative media
  • communication studies

(Please note that the Research Slam does not endorse exhaustive lists. Please expand at your will.)  

*Co-sponsored by the ACGCC

Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellows Panel (Volunteers Needed!)
Wednesday, May 2, 2010 2pm
Location TBA
This panel is an opportunity for the Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellows in the English department to learn about the activities and research mission of the American Cultures & Global Contexts Center. They will have the chance to speak with graduate students and faculty about their research and about the many initiatives that have originated in the Center. Please contact if you are a current ACGCC grad student or professor and would like to participate in the conversation!
Performance: Stephanie Batiste's Stacks of Obits: A Choreopoem

Thursday, April 15, 2010 7:30pm
MultiCultural Center Theater

Talk: Jayne Cortez, "From Watts to Dakar: A View of African American Culture in Los Angeles and Beyond"
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 4 p.m.
Multicultural Center Theater
Reception for the Journal for Transnational American Studies
Friday, April 2, 2010 2 p.m.
South Hall 2710 (American Cultures & Global Contexts Center)

You are cordially invited to a reception for the Journal of Transnational American Studies.


Please join us as we celebrate the upcoming launch of our second issue! Food and drink will be provided, and editors, contributors, and friends of JTAS/ACGCC will be present.

The Editors of the Journal of Transnational American Studies,apeer-reviewed online, open-access journal published by the Center for American Cultures and Global Contexts at the University of California-Santa Barbara and the Program in American Studies at Stanford University, are delighted to announce the publication of the journal's newest issue.

JTAS 2 features a previously unpublished essay by W. E. B. Du Bois and an article by Mark Twain that has not been reprinted since its initial publication in 1868, as well as contributions from scholars based in Argentina, Canada, Japan, Korea, Spain, and the United States. In addition to new articles that examine questions in American Studies as the field intersects productively and problematically with other national cultures, societies, politics and histories, the journal contains excerpts from newly-published books intransnational American Studies (in the Forward section), and select re-publication of significant contributions to the field (in the Reprise section).The journalmay be accessed without charge at:

Please consult the Call for Papers section of the web site fordetails on the journal's standing CFP as well as CFPs for open special forums and instructions for submitting to the Forward and Reprise sections of the journal.

We look forward to going through this issue's contents and giving a "behind-the-scenes" look at an online publication.

Winter Quarter 2010
Film Screening
Rize (2005)
Monday, March 8, 2010 6:30 p.m.
South Hall 2635


Former commercial photographer and music video director David LaChapelle delves into the "krumping" culture in South Central Los Angeles, capturing the unbelievable gyrations of dancers with moves so quick that they warrant a special disclaimer. The high-octane documentary centers on Tommy the Clown," a former birthday entertainer who opened a school to train community kids to krump -- and keep them out of trouble. (

Hosted in conjunction with Prof. Stephanie Batiste's Black Performance Studies class.

Brown Bag:
"Cognitive Impairment, Care, and 'Defenses of Narrative' in an Age of Neuroscience"
Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:30 p.m.
South Hall 2635

Talk by James Berger, American Studies, Yale University
Presented by the Hull Chair in Feminist Studies with support from the ACGCC


gearsProfessor Berger’s current research concerns the representation of cognitive and linguistic impairment in modern fiction: how science, popular beliefs and ideology, social and political fears and desires, theories of language, literary genres, religion, and ethics are continually in tension, and how these tensions can be approached through literary texts. He explores the limits of language, the relations between language and non-language, the status of discursive objects imagined as somehow—whether through global catastrophe, personal impairment, or religious or ethical imperative—outside the bounds of discourse.  How such texts take shape depends much on the particular concerns of their historical moments—on whether, for instance, cognitive impairment is regarded as divine simpleness, genetic degeneration that threatens the social order, or a position on a neurological spectrum.

Professor Berger is the author of After the End: Representations of Post-ApocalypseMinneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999 and the editor of Helen Keller, The Story of My Life: The Restored Edition, New York: The Modern Library/Random House, 2003.

Hard copies of Prof. Berger’s paper are available in advance of the talk in the American Cultures & Global Contexts Center (SH 2710) or access the PDF version here.

"Oil, Water, and the Sacred"
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1 p.m.
McCune Conference Room 6020 HSSB
Talk by Richard Watts, French and Italian Studies, University of Washington
Introduced by Teresa Shewry, English, UCSB

Oil, Water, and the Sacred: Super/Natural Resources in Francophone Postcolonial Fiction

Focusing on Nan Bessora’s 2004 novel Petroleum but drawing on a wide range of texts, this paper argues that the ubiquitous deployment of “natural resources” in francophone postcolonial fiction has always served as a means of figuring the properly political relationship between France and its former colonies and highlighting the resource-extractive politics of colonialism and neo-colonialism, but that it has recently come to signify broader cultural and
eco-philosophical differences between metropole and postcolony. Bessora’s Petroleum represents with equal emphasis the social and environmental externalities of the oil boom in postcolonial Gabon (pollution of waterways, political corruption) and the spiritual conflict that it provokes (between the Black Atlantic water divinity Mami Wata and what the author calls the “dieu de l’or noir,” the Oil God of the Industrialized West). Political economy and symbolic economies are therefore overlaid in a text that productively troubles the divide between the environmental social sciences and the ostensibly “soft” eco-humanities.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water Series, Community Environmental Council and American Cultures and Global Contexts Center.

Film Screening
On the Edge: The Femicide in Ciudad Juarez (2006)

Thursday, February 11, 2010 6:30 p.m.
South Hall 2635

juarezPart of the ACGCC "Hemispheric American Studies" Film Series

This compelling documentary addresses the brutal murders of hundreds of young women in the bordertown of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Issues such as narco-trafficking, sexism, free trade, immigration, corruption, poverty, and sweatshops, all come to foreground, moving the focus beyond the murders to the social, cultural and economic factors that have created this situation.


Symposium: Kim Cheng Boey

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Lecture at 4pm in the Old Little Theatre
Reception at 5pm in the English Department, South Hall (Room TBD)


Please welcome Kim Cheng Boey for a symposium co-sponsored by the College of Creative Studies and the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center. Boey--an accomplished poet, writer, and lecturer--will be reading selections from his poetry and his new essay collection Between Stations.
A reception will follow at 5:00pm in the English Department.

Writer Biography: Kim Cheng Boey was born in Singapore in 1965. After completing a Master's thesis in travel literature at the University of Singapore, he pursued German Studies in Murnau. In 1994, he attended the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Two years later, he emigrated to Australia, where he completed a PhD in contemporary Irish poetry at Macquarie University. Boey has published four collections of poetry - Somewhere-Bound (1989), Another Place (1992), Days of No Name (1995) and After the Fire (2006). The first won the National Book Development Council's Award for poetry while the second received the commendation award. Before emigrating, Boey received the Young Artist of the Year Award. He now teaches Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. Between Stations, a book of personal essays exploring the themes of migration, identity and belonging, was published by Giramondo last year. An interview with Boey and excerpts from his work will be published in the Spring 2010 issue of Cerise Press.

IHC Future of the University Series: Equity and Access

Thursday, January 21, 2010 4:00 p.m.
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

A panel discussion treating the futures of racial, ethnic, and economic diversity in the UC system in an era of budget crisis and fee “deregulation.” Will the University of California still serve all the people of California, and which students or prospective students stand to be most affected as the UC system moves toward greater privatization? Panelists include Professors Julie Carlson (English, UCSB and Academic Director, Project Excel), Marisela Ramos (History, Latino/a Studies, University of the Pacific), Claudia Martinez (Director of Academic Preparation, UCSB), and Jeffrey Stewart (Chair, Black Studies, UCSB). Student activists will be invited to attend and participate in post-panel discussion.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Future of the University series and the American Cultures and
Global Contexts Center.


Film Screening

Tuesday, January 11, 2010 6:00 p.m.
South Hall 2635

Directed by Spike Lee. Starring Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett, Tommy Davidson, and Michael Rapaport. An Ivy-League educated writer (Wayans) joins a comedy show at a major network. The show includes an all black cast, but is written mostly by white people. One of his first ideas is to have a skit where the cast wears "black face," and the show becomes an instant smash. (

"Savage, abrasive, audacious and confrontational, "Bamboozled" is the work of a master provocateur, someone who insists audiences think about issues of race and racism we'd rather not face, especially when we go to the movies. It's the angriest film an unfailingly angry filmmaker has yet made, skewering almost everyone in it, both black and white. Taking comfort in its own fury, it doesn't necessarily care if you agree with its points, just as long as you take the time to listen."
- The Los Angeles Times

Hosted in conjunction with Professor Stephanie Batiste's Black Performance Studies Class.


Fall Quarter 2009
“Take Control of Your Publications with eScholarship”
Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:30 p.m. South Hall 1415 Media Room

With Elise Proulx, CDL Publishing Group, University of California

Introduction by Kathryn Dolan, ACGC Fall RA

eScholarship offers a robust open access publishing platform that enables departments, research units, publishing programs, and individual scholars associated with the University of California to have direct control over the creation and dissemination of the full range of their scholarship, including:

Journals Conferences
Books Working Papers
Postprints Seminar/Paper Series

Initiated in 2002, eScholarship now houses over 30,000 publications with more than 9 million full-text downloads to date. The rate of usage of these materials has grown dramatically in the past 7 years, now often exceeding 170,000 downloads per month.

Come learn how you can get started publishing with eScholarship today!


Film Screening
Frozen River (2008)
Monday, October 26, 2009 6:00 p.m. South Hall 2635

Part of the ACGCC "Hemispheric American Studies" Film Series

Stephanie LeMenager will introduce Frozen River. It is the story of Ray Eddy, an upstate New York trailer mom who is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling when she meets a Mohawk girl who lives on a reservation that straddles the US-Canadian border. Broke after her husband takes off with the down payment for their new doublewide, Ray reluctantly teams up with Lila, a smuggler, and the two begin making runs across the frozen St. Lawrence River carrying illegal Chinese and Pakistani immigrants in the trunk of Ray's Dodge Spirit. – Frozen River Presskit


Ned Sublette: "The Year Before the Flood"

Part of the IHC’s “Oil and Water” series, co-sponsored by ACGC
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 4 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Writer, scholar, and musician Ned Sublette is one of the most provocative cultural historians working today.  His recent books on New Orleans—The World that Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square (2008) and the just-published The Year Before the Flood:
A Story of New Orleans—have garnered praise as important perspectives on a city still reeling from natural-and-politically caused devastation.  Sublette has lectured widely on New Orleans, popular music, and Cuban music (the subject of his 2004 volume Cuba and Its
Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo).  He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005) among other honors.  In addition to his work as a writer and lecturer, Sublette is also an active guitarist, songwriter, and radio-documentary producer.



Save the Date: JTAS/ACGC Reception at ASA (11/7; 7:45PM)

Dear friends:
You are cordially invited to the Journal of Transnational American Studies/ American Cultures and Global Contexts reception at the
upcoming ASA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.


Date: Saturday, November 7th
Time: 7:45 p.m  (after the John Hope Franklin event).
Place: The Courtyard by Marriott Washington Convention Center at
900 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
(ask for  Shelley Fisher Fishkin/Shirley Geok-lin Lim/Nina Morgan suite).

The Courtyard is a few blocks from the Marriott Renaissance (the convention hotel). Go South on 9th St. NW toward I St. NW (EYE St. NW).  The hotel is on your right at the corner of 9th St. and F St., just after you pass the National Museum of American Art.

Food and drink will be provided, and editors, contributors, and friends of JTAS/ACGC will be present. Please RSVP to

Poetic Visions in the Wake of Katrina
Co-sponsored by the ACGC

American Studies Association, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, November 5, 2-3:45 p.m.
The Renaissance Hotel/Auditorium

The panel is organized around a historic dialogue between New Orleans writers, poets, and  activists. Shana  Grifin, Brenda Marie Osbey, Sunni Patterson, and Kalamu Ya Salaam will discuss the tragedies and triumphs of post-Katrina New  Orleans. In addition to reading from their works they will discuss the central role of artists in community building and in imagining a new city. The panel is being organized by Associate Professor Clyde Woods, Department of Black Studies, and Jordan T. Camp, PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology.
"Southern  California's Oil: Past and Futures"
Part of the IHC’s “Oil and Water” series, co-sponsored by ACGC
Moderated by Stephanie LeMenager, ACGC Director
November 12, 2009 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

CCS LIT SYMPOSSIUM Presents Poet, Mitsuye Yamada

Co-sponsored by the ACGC

Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 4 p.m. in the Old Little Theater
Introduction by Sharon Tang-Quan
Reception to follow at 5:30 p.m. in the ACGC Center, South Hall 2710


Join us in welcoming Mitsuye Yamada as she reads from her poetry and prose and shares her early experience of internment during World War II and her life- long contributions to education, the defense of human rights, and the cultivation of the arts.

MITSUYE YAMADA’s writings focus on her Japanese American heritage, women’s and human rights issues. She is the author of CAMP NOTES AND OTHER WRITINGS published by Rutgers University Press. She is now retired from UC Irvine where she was Adjunct Associate Professor in Asian American Studies, and was a former member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA. She is a member of Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience (IPOC) and founder and director of Multicultural Women Writers.  She recently initiated a Peace and Justice Ministry at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Irvine. She is presently writing a biography of her father, one of the early Japanese pioneers in the U.S.

Spring Quarter 2009

CONFERENCE: "Building Community Across Borders"
California American Studies Association (CASA) Annual Conference

Friday April 10 - Sunday April 12, 2009 McCune Conference Room HSSB

For more information contact Professor Ann Plane at


Film Screening
The Birth of a Nation
Monday, April 13, 2009 6:00 p.m. South Hall 2635

Professor Stephanie Batiste will introduce this classic, yet controversial film by D.W. Griffith. Adapted from Thomas Dixon's novel "The Clansman," director D.W. Griffith's historical saga recounts the genesis of the U.S. Civil War, the destruction it wrought upon the populace, and the social ills spawned by Reconstruction, including the ascent of the Ku Klux Klan. The story plays out in the intertwining fates of two fictional families -- the Northern Stonemans and the Southern Camerons. Though the film's legacy is stained by its racist content, it remains a landmark in filmmaking technique (


ACGCC Working Papers Series
Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 5:00 p.m. South Hall 2714

WPSThe Working Papers Series (WPS) offers graduate students the opportunity to workshop their papers in a supportive environment; we have two official commentators on each paper, one faculty member and one graduate student--and, of course, all who attend the meeting are invited to respond. You needn’t be directly affiliated with the ACGCC to join us. The WPS grew out of the need voiced by graduate students for concrete and helpful feedback from presentations. Thus, the work being reviewed is available in hard copy in the ACGC Center, and the graduate student does not read it at the WPS event. The idea is that the time should be spent discussing the work and responding to it. Therefore, both the faculty and graduate student respondents offer written and verbal responses (the written should be no more than a page), with suggestions and critiques. The meeting will be held in South Hall 2714 and hard copies of the papers will be available in the ACGCC Tuesday April 14. If you want more information or have questions come by the ACGCC or contact Yanoula Athanassakis: at


Global Ecologies Colloquium Film Screening
Regretfully Cancelled

Kathy Richman, Professor of French and Wine Connoisseur introduces Jonathan Nossiter's documentary that caused a buzz among French movie circles and French wine circles. Set in seven countries across three continents, Mondovino weaves together the family succession saga of napa Valley power brokers with the bitter rivalry of two aristocratic Florentine dynasties, and the intergenerational struglle of a Burgundarian family trying to preserve its few acres of vineyard. It also connects these stories--and several others--to the exploits of a gleeful "flying winemaker" from Bordeaux who preaches the gospel of modernity and globalization from the hills of Tuscany to the pampas of Argentina ( This even it co-sponsored by Arnhold Postdoctoral Fellow Allison Carruth and Professor Stephanie LeMenager.


CONFERENCE: "Beyond Environmentalism: Culture, Justice and Global
Ecologies" Featuring Ursula Heise and Elaine Scarry
Friday May 22 - Saturday May 23, 2009 UCSB IHC, McCune Conference Room HSSB

In the global context, right action on the part of humans toward each other and the biotic community, what Aldo Leopold called the land ethic, is difficult to represent in political speech, in policy, and even in the imaginative realm of the arts. Like the troubled concept of the global, the concept of justice, as Elaine Scarry has argued, founders in the problem of imagining other people, distant people, strangers. As our species faces anthropogenic climate change, world water shortages and world famine, the twin projects of giving expression to a truly global ecology and to global environmental justice have never been more urgent. This conference aims to bring together individuals whose life’s work has been the study or practice of writing—literary historians and theorists, journalists and cultural critics, social scientists and environmental policy makers who have made the written word central to their understanding of how social changes are achieved. All will be asked to pursue a knotty question: are we up to the task of writing a global environment, a global sensorium that impinges upon us so intimately that we are forced to recognize its crises as our own? Can the culture of letters bring the biosphere into our embodied sense of the everyday? What we are interested in is the task of creating a social aesthetic, if we use the term in Ramon Saldívar’s sense to mean “those complex emotions, reflections, and sensations which give rise to a peculiarly poetic organization, responsive to the demands of history." See the Conference Web Site.

Winter Quarter 2009

Global Ecologies Colloquium Film Series
Up the Yangtze
Friday, January 16, 2009, 6-8:00 p.m. American Cultures and Global Contexts Center

Professor Teresa Shewry will introduce this award winning documentary. A luxury cruise boat motors up the Yangtze - navigating the mythic waterway known in China simply as "The River." The Yangtze is about to be transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history. At the river's edge - a young woman says goodbye to her family as the floodwaters rise towards their small homestead. The Three Gorges Dam - contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle - provides the epic backdrop for Up the Yangtze, a dramatic feature documentary on life inside modern China. Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang's beautifully photographed documentary of China's peasant life and cultural upheaval had its U.S. premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.


CONFERENCE: "Food Sustainability and Food Security"
Invitational Conference

Thursday February 5 - Saturday February 7, 2009 McCune Conference Room

The UC Santa Barbara Department of English is organizing an invitational conference on the topic of food sustainability and food security, which will dovetail with a year-long series of food-themed events at the UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. The conference aims to bring scholars and food workers together to investigate the historical and contemporary dynamics of the global food system and to consider the future of food studies as an interdisciplinary field. The conference will open with an evening keynote address on February 5th, followed by a full day of panels on February 6th and a closing roundtable with community food leaders on the morning of February 7th. The Deadline for Submission is October 15, 2008. See the official website for more information.


ACGCC Working Papers Series
Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 6:00 p.m. Isla Vista

The Working Papers Series (WPS) offers graduate students the opportunity to workshop their papers in a supportive environment; we have two official commentators on each paper, one faculty member and one graduate student--and, of course, all who attend the meeting are invited to respond. You needn’t be directly affiliated with the ACGCC to join us. The WPS grew out of the need voiced by graduate students for concrete and helpful feedback from presentations. Thus, the work being reviewed is available in hard copy in the ACGC Center, and the graduate student does not read it at the WPS event. The idea is that the time should be spent discussing the work and responding to it. Therefore, both the faculty and graduate student respondents offer written and verbal responses (the written should be no more than a page), with suggestions and critiques. The meeting will be held at a home in Isla Vista and hard copies of the papers will be available in the ACGCC Wednesday February 11. If you want more information or have questions come by the ACGCC or contact Yanoula Athanassakis: at


Global Ecologies Colloquium Panel Discussion
"The Psychological Dimensions of Climate Change"
Friday, March 13, 2009, 10-11:30 a.m. South Hall 2635

Professors Catherine Gautier and Dan Montello from the Department of Geography at UCSB will lead the panel discussion. Professor Gautier is the former Director and Principal Investigator at the Institute for Computational Earth Systems Science and head of the Earth Space Research Group. Professor Montello's research interests include: spatial, environmental and geographic perception, cognition, affect and behavior; behavioral and cognitive geography; environmental psychology and cognitive cartography.

Fall Quarter 2008

Literature.Culture.Media Center Lecture
Stephanie Strickland
Thursday, October 2, 2008, 3:30 p.m. South Hall 2635

The Literature.Culture.Media Center will be hosting new media artist and accomplished poet Stephanie Strickland who will give a talk and a reading. Stickland’s most recent book Zone: Zero (Ashanta Press 2008) has been widely praised. Marjorie Perloff writes, “ Stephanie Strickland is one of contemporary poetry's polymaths: her poetry displays an astonishing command of scientific knowledge and unusual verbal virtuosity. The piece de resistance in Zone : Zero is the interactive generative Flash poem slippingglimpse, in which text and video, made by using motion capture coding, combine so as to create a genuinely new and distinctive eco-poetry. Readers/viewers will find themselves totally mesmerized." For more information see This event is sponsored by the Literature.Culture.Media Center.


Documenting Globalization Film Series
Life and Debt
Thursday, October 9, 2008, 6:00 p.m. South Hall 2635

Professor Bishnupriya Ghosh will be introducing this searing documentary that examines how the policies of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other aid organizations have changed the Jamaican economy over the past quarter of a century, leaving the local people to struggle in poverty and work in sweatshops. Author Jamaica Kincaid narrates with Belinda Becker to a reggae soundtrack that includes songs by Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Mutubaruka and Peter Tosh ( In a movie review written by Stephen Holden of the New York Times, Holden writes, “The term ‘globalization’ is so tinged with rosy one-world optimism that it's easy to assume the essential benignity of an economic philosophy whose name vaguely connotes unity, equality and freedom. But as Stephanie Black's powerful documentary Life and Debt illustrates with an impressive (and depressing) acuity, globalization can have a devastating impact on third world countries. The movie offers the clearest analysis of globalization and its negative effects that I've ever seen on a movie or television screen” (New York Times, June 15th, 2001).


Reception for Terry Tempest Williams
Monday, October 13, 2008, 4-5:00 p.m. South Hall 2635

Finding Beauty in a Broken World by Terry Tempest Williams: Book CoverTerry Tempest Williams has been called "a citizen writer," a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. Known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, Terry Tempest Williams is the author of the environmental literature classic, Refuge - An Unnatural History of Family and Place; An Unspoken Hunger - Stories from the Field; Desert Quartet; Leap; Red - Passion and Patience in the Desert; and The Open Space of Democracy. Her new book Mosaic: Finding Beauty in a Broken World, will be published in 2008 by Pantheon Books. Terry Tempest Williams is currently the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change. She will be discussing her latest work at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on October 13 at 7:30 p.m. Her reception at UCSB is co-sponsored by the Literature and the Environment at UCSB and the ACGCC.


Global Ecologies Colloquium
"Street Theater and Environmental Activism"
Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 4:30-6:30 p.m. South Hall 2635

Sharon Paltin is a practicing Family Physician in Mendocino County. She graduated from UC Berkeley in Conservation of Natural Resources and received her medical degree from St. Louis University. Dr. Paltin completed her residency in Family Practice at Community Hospital in Santa Rosa. She was a Park Ranger and Outdoor Educator, using experimental techniques in the teaching of ecology to young people. Dr. Paltin is also a member of the Giant Mutant Sponges affinity group, who continued the street theater tradition as anti-nuclear activists in the late 1970s and early 80s. She combined her medical and dramatic interests by experimenting with health education theater, traveling to Russia with Patch Adams, M.D. Paltin’s presentation will include a chance to participate in a taste of street theater, to view action photos form the archives of decades of creative collaboration, and to review some basics, themes, suggestions and useful tips for creating and manifesting your very own street theater. Street theater or activist theater includes puppetry, pageantry or parades, dance, props, costumes, sculpture, graffiti and music.


Global Ecologies Colloquium Film Screening
The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion & the Collapse of the American Dream
Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 6-8:00 p.m. American Cultures and Global Contexts Center

This provocative documentary, a regular on the film-festival circuit, examines the history of suburban life and the wisdom of this distinctly American way of life. A post-World War II concept, suburbia attracted droves of people, giving rise to sprawl and all that comes with it -- good and bad. How has the environment been affected by this lifestyle, and is it sustainable? Canadian director Gregory Greene dares to ask all the tough questions ( Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too the suburban way of life has become embedded in the American consciousness. Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream. But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary. The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia? (

Spring Quarter 2008


CONFERENCE: "Citizenship in the Era of Globalization"
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
Saturday, May 24, 2008, Centennial House

The 2008 American Cultures and Global Contexts Graduate Conference, an interdisciplinary forum at UC Santa Barbara, presents the problem of citizenship in the era of globalization. Graduate students from the Humanities and Social Sciences will weigh in on the challenges and possibilities of citizenship in a world of state-sponsored and state-less terrorism, rapid resource exploitation, displacement of indigenous communities, migrant labor flows, re-energized border and state security regimes, and robust patriotisms fueled by religious fundamentalism.

In such a world, if we describe it accurately, is citizenship, normally a function of liberal discourse but also recognized as a function of culture, still a relevant term? Which models of citizenship most effectively speak to our current condition, which varieties of citizenship are worth defending, and which modes of modeling “good citizenship” (through the arts, education, activism) might we in the academy embrace? This conference seeks to answer these generative questions and to frame more effective questions by building dialogue across a variety of relevant disciplines.

We are fortunate to have as one of our guides Professor Brook Thomas of UC-Irvine, whose recently published Civic Myths (UNC Press, 2007) draws on the intertwined histories of law and literature to probe the complexities of U.S. citizenship.


FILM SERIES: Children of Men (2006)
Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 6:00PM, South Hall 2710

In anticipation of our fifth annual end-of-year conference, "Citizenship in the Era of Globalization," the ACGCC presents a screening and casual discussion of the 2006 film Children of Men. Aimee Woznick will introduce the film. All are welcome.

Children of Men is set in a dystopic world with no children, no future, and no hope. In the year 2027, eighteen years since the last baby was born, disillusioned Theo (Clive Owen) becomes an unlikely champion of the human race when he is asked to escort a young pregnant woman out of the country as quickly as possible. In a race against time, Theo risks everything to deliver the miracle the world has been anticipating.


ACGCC Celebration of Undergraduate Majors
Tuesday, May 20, 2008; 3:00-5:00 PM; South Hall 2635

Join us for food and drink, American Cultures jeopardy, and discussion and celebration of
student Honors theses and projects. Special prizes will be given to outstanding contributors to the American Cultures Specialization.

This party will be followed by a screening of Children of Men, to which all undergraduates are invited.


ACGCC Working Paper Series
Thursday, May 15, 2008; 6:00 PM

Please join us for the second meeting of the ACGCC's "Working Paper Series." The Working Papers Series offers graduate students the opportunity to workshop their papers in a supportive environment; we have two 'official' commentators on each paper, one faculty member and one graduate student--and, of course, all who attend the meeting are invited to respond. You needn't be directly affiliated with the ACGCC to join us.

For this meeting the presenters are Yanoula Athanassakis and Eric Martinsen. They will be presenting their work-in-progress from their dissertations. Copies of their work will be available beginning on Monday May 12th, in the ACGC Center in 2607 South Hall, in a folder marked: "Working Paper Series."

Food and drink will be served. Lively conversation is guaranteed. For those of you interested in presenting and/or responding formally, please contact Yanoula Athanassakis at:


ROUNDTABLE: "Hope, or the Futures of Environmentalism"
Friday, May 9, 2008; 1:00-3:00 PM; South Hall 1415

While apocalyptic narrative functioned as the first successful vehicle for environmental politics, exemplified by Rachel Carson's classic *Silent Spring,* now it seems that fear and terror no longer motivate significant environmental policy change--at least if we look at polling results regarding the topic of global warming. Yet environmentalist artists, academics, and policy-makers don't agree on what constitutes the next motivating narrative, or exactly how to implement a more sustainable environmental future. Hope for the environment, unlike environmental apocalypse, seems incredible--and those who have attempted to use hope as a buzz-word and impetus for policy-making (such as Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger) tend to have little credibility among environmental activists and scholars.

Join Professors Bill Freudenburg (Environmental Studies) and Lorelei Moosbrugger (Political Science) for an interdisciplinary conversation on the futures of environmental studies, whether hope is alive and, if so, where to find it.

Bill Freudenburg, the 2004-05 President of the Rural Sociological Society, has devoted most of his career to the study of environment-society relationships. He is particularly well-known both for his work on coupled environment-society systems in general and for his work on more specific topics, including resource-dependent communities, the social impacts of environmental and technological change, and risk analysis. He is the winner of Awards from the American Sociological Association, Rural Sociological Society, Pacific Sociological Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Recent and forthcoming publications have focused on topics ranging from the social impacts of U.S. oil dependence to the polarized nature of debates over spotted owls, with a special emphasis on “disproportionality,” or the tendency for a major fraction of all environmental impacts to be associated with a surprisingly small fraction of the overall economy.

Lorelei Moosbrugger is a comparative institutionalist focusing on industrialized countries, with regional expertise in Europe. Her primary research agenda concerns the impact of institutions on the ability of governments to provide public goods, especially environmental protection. Moosbrugger is currently working on a book manuscript in which she details how different institutional designs either inhibit or promote the production of collective goods in the face of concentrated costs. She also writes on the role of institutions in ethnic conflict and the policy impacts of the institutional structures of the European Union.


CONFERENCE: "Backwoods, Backwater: Bartering Social Identities in Faulkner's South"
Friday, April 18, 2008, Starting at 9 AM; South Hall 1415

This one day conference seeks to explore the range of identities (both chosen and prescribed) seen in William Faulkner's fiction. As the term "bartering" implies, identity in Faulkner's South is something that is highly gendered as well as multifaceted, a narrative of exchange that is mapped onto interpersonal and intercultural interactions.

Anne Goodwyn Jones, known for her work on femininity, masculinity, and, in particular the masculine romance genre in Faulkner, has been invited to be the keynote speaker. She is the author of Tomorrow is Another Day: The Woman Writer in the South, 1859-1936.
This conference is in preparation for a larger conference next year on "The Hemispheric South."

9:00-9:15AM Arrival and opening remarks from Stephanie LeMenager

Katie Berry-Frye, "Washed-Up and "Wiped-Out: Addie

Aimee Woznick, "'Not Singing and Not Unsinging': Nancy's Blues Aesthetic in Faulkner's 'That Evening Sun'"


Keynote address: Anne Goodwyn-Jones, "Bartering Histories: Bill, Flannery, and Vann Write the Civil War"

12:00-1:00PM Break for lunch


Kathryn Dolan
, "'Our heritage of free will and decision' in Faulkner’s 'Uncle Willy'"

Dan Pecchenino, "Discrepancies and Contradictions: 'Mule in the Yard' and the Economics of Revision"


Carina Evans
, "'Parchmentcolored' Fiction: Ambiguity and Multiracial Identity in Light in August"

Brandon Fastman, "'Dispossessed of Eden': Recovering Animal Kinship in William Faulkner's 'The Bear'"

3:00-4:30PM Keynote address: Candace Waid, "Dewey Dell: Dead Center"
4:30-5:00PM Roundtable discussion: "Faulkner and the Hemispheric South" featuring Elliott Butler-Evans, Stephanie Batiste, Stephanie LeMenager, and others
5:00PM Southern potluck dinner in South Hall 2635



Winter Quarter 2008


LECTURE: "Figurational Sociology: The Critical Potential of a European Approach to American Studies" by Prof. Christa Buschendorf (Johann Wolfgang Goethe University)
Friday, Mar. 7, 2008, 1 PM; HSSB 6020

Do scholars in Europe approach American Studies differently than their colleagues in the US? Looking at the history and culture of the United States from a distance, they indeed show a tendency to ask uncommon questions. European perspectives onto America may also derive from intellectual traditions rooted in specific national schools of thought. A typical European approach, e.g. French structuralism, may travel swiftly across the Atlantic and become an integral part of American academia. In other cases, there is notable resistance to certain ideas or methods. The talk will present a socio-historical approach well-known in Europe and widely neglected in the United States: the method of figurative or processual sociology, as derived from the theories of the German-Jewish cultural historian Norbert Elias and the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Professor Buschendorf will discuss key concepts of this approach – such as “(de)civilizing processes,” “habitus,” “established and outsiders,” or “(symbolic) power” –with regard to their implied notions of the relationship between individuals and society. Jesse Hill Ford’s almost forgotten novel The Liberation of Lord Byron Jones (1965), which highlighted violent eruptions of racial tensions in a small town in Tennessee in the early sixties, will provide a concrete example of both the conceptual advantages of the figurational approach and the reasons for its neglect.  
Professor Buschendorf is Director of the Institut for North American  Studies, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt-Main.

The event is co-sponsored by the History Department, Policy History program, the Center for Work, Labor, and Democracy, the Department of English, the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center, and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.


FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: Manufactured Landscapes (2006, dir. Jennifer Baichwal)
Thursday, Mar. 6, 2008, 6 PM; SH 2635

Join the ACGCC, the Literature and the Environment Colloquium, and the undergraduate English Club for a screening and discussion of this award-winning film about Edward Burtynsky, the internationally-acclaimed photographer known for his large-scale photographs of nature transformed by industry. Tim Gilmore will offer an introduction to the film, and pizza and refreshments will be served.


RECEPTION: Mitsuye Yamada
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008, 6 PM; home of Prof. Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

Affliliated faculty and graduate students of the ACGCC are invited to this reception for Mitsuye Yamada. Yamada is a second-generation Japanese American, or Nisei, activist, feminist, poet, and essayist, and the author of six books, including Camp Notes, Desert Run, and Three Asian American Writers Speak Out About Feminism. Individuals planning to attend should RSVP to Shirley Lim,, for directions to the reception.

Fall Quarter 2007

ROUNDTABLE: "Global Warming Discourse, Politics, and Culture"
Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, 10:00-12:00 PM; South Hall 2617

On Friday, December 7th, from 10 am to 12pm, we will host an interdisciplinary roundtable discussion with Professors Josh Schimel (Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology) and Eric R.A.N. Smith (Political Science). The topic of the roundtable will be "Global Warming Discourse, Politics, and Culture." We will discuss the IPCC Climate Assessment and related issues, such as changing public perceptions of global warming and the often conflicting rhetorics of climate change science, politics, and popular culture. 

For more information on the IPCC Climate Assessment, please see the 2007 reports created by the IPCC's three working groups:

Working Group I "The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change": IPCC WG1 AR4 Report
Working Group II "Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability": IPCC WGII web site.
Working Group III "Mitigation of Climate Change": IPCCWG III Home

LECTURE: "Environmental Memory and Planetary Survival," by Professor Lawrence Buell (Harvard University)
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007, 4:00-6:00 PM, McCune Room 6020

Considered one of the founders of environmental criticism, Professor Lawrence Buell of Harvard University will share his most recent work, which treats the intersections of global and environmental studies. Professor Buell is this year's Jay Hubbell Award winner, awarded by the MLA American Literature Group for lifetime achievement in American literature.

This lecture is part of a year-long series of events sponsored by the ACGCC and intended to promote UCSB's initiative to build upon its already strong programs in Environmental Studies by focusing on how the Humanities contribute to environmental values and activism. Sponsored by the American Cultures & Global Contexts Center, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, HFA, the Carsey-Wolf Center, the Bren School, Environmental Studies, English, Classics, History of Art and Architecture, the Literature & Environment Colloquium.

Interested graduate students and faculty are welcome to join us for a reception in honor of Professor Buell: Friday Nov. 16, 3:00-5:00 PM, South Hall 2635.


PANEL: The Hypersexuality of Race, featuring Celine Parrenas-Shimizu, Constance Penley, and Mireille Miller-Young
Thursday, October 11, 2007; 4:00PM; HSSB McCune Room 6020

A reading and panel discussion featuring Celine Parrenas-Shimizu, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, Constance Penley, Professor of Film and Media Studies, and Mireille Miller-Young, Assistant Professor of Women's Studies.

Professors Penley and Miller-Young will comment upon Professor Parrenas-Shimizu's recently published book, THE HYPERSEXUALITY OF RACE: PERFORMING ASIAN/AMERICAN WOMEN ON SCREEN AND SCENE (Duke UP). The book analyzes the production of sexuality for Asian women in western modern moving image visual cultures such as early cinema, stag films, contemporary pornography, Hollywood blockbusters, musicals and independent sexually explicit media by Asian American women.

This event underlines the remarkable fact that UCSB boasts three of the nation's strongest cultural critics working on pornography and film/media studies.

Co-sponsored by the UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.


TALK & WELCOME PARTY: "Savage Perils: Racial Frontiers and Nuclear Apocalypse in American Culture," by Professor Patrick Sharp (Liberal Studies, Cal State Los Angeles)
Thursday, April 26, 2007, 2:00-3:30PM, South Hall 2617

Patrick Sharp is currently Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Liberal Studies at Cal State, Los Angeles. Professor Sharp will offer a reading from his book, SAVAGE PERILS: RACIAL FRONTIERS AND NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE IN AMERICAN CULTURE, which explores the influence of Darwinism, frontier nostalgia, and literary modernism on nuclear weaponry. Taking into account such factors as anthropological race theory and Asian immigration, Professor Sharp charts the origins of a worldview that continues to shape our culture and politics.

After Professor Sharp's reading, join us for wine, cheese, and conversation at our ACGCC fall welcome party.


CONFERENCE: Intimate Labors
An Interdisciplinary Conference on Domestic, Care, Sex Work
October 4-6, Centennial House, UCSB

Keynote Speakers (in McCune Room, 6020 HSSB):

"From Patient Advocate to Social Advocate: The Work of Nursing," Rose Ann DeMoro, California Nurses Association. October 4th, 7 p.m.

"Caring Everywhere," Viviana A. Zelizer. October 5th, 10 a.m.

Intimate labor is work that entails bodily or emotional closeness or personal familiarity, such as sexual intercourse and washing genitalia, or intimate observation and knowledge of personal information, such as childcare or housekeeping. It exists along a continuum of service and caring labor, from high end nursing and low end housekeeping, and includes sex, domestic, and personal care work. Against a scholarship that considers nurses, nannies, home aides, cleaners, prostitutes, masseuses, therapists, and hostesses apart from each other, this conference seeks to explore intimate labor as a useful category of analysis to understand gender, racial, class, and other power relations as well as look at current economic transformations.

Presented by the Center for Research on Women and Social Justice, Women's Studies Program, University of California, Santa Barbara. Organized by Professor Eileen Boris, Women's Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
and Professor Rhacel Parreñas, Asian American Studies, University of California, Davis. Sponsored by the University of California Labor and Employment Research Fund; University of California Humanities and Research Institute; University of California, Santa Barbara: College of Letters and Science, Division of Social Sciences, Hull Chair in Women's Studies, Women's Center, Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center; College of Humanities, Arts, and Culture Studies at the University of California, Davis.